Long Island Rules and Restrictions

Memorial Day Weekend 2020 is approaching. As a tribute to those who have served our country, we customarily celebrate with barbecues, friends and family. However, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the practiced festivities must be different this year. 

What is the Law?

The warmer weather combined with months of limited contact with people may provoke us to throw caution to the wind.  Additionally, we do not associate cold and flu-like illnesses with this time of year, potentially leading us to assume we’re safer than in actuality. Be that as it may, Coronavirus pandemic response laws are still in effect in New York State. 

Currently (updated May 22, 2020 12:45pm), in New York State:

  • Everyone over the age of two and who is medically able to tolerate wearing a face mask or covering must do so in public if they cannot maintain a distance of 6 feet or more from people at all times. 
  • Face masks must be worn when entering stores and any business establishments.  
  • Face masks must be worn when using public or private transportation (ex: Uber).
  • Long Island, New York City, and the Mid-Hudson are on pause until May 28, 2020, which is after Memorial Day Weekend. [Sidebar: the regions still on pause may enter phase one reopening if they reach all seven Covid-19 Metrics.]
  • Beaches will be opening (with restrictions) on May 22, 2020, prior to Memorial Day Weekend, unless restricted by the local law.
  • Memorial Day ceremonies of 10 people or less will be permitted, with final decisions about ceremonies made by local governments.

You may host a barbeque or gathering at your home; however, it must be limited to 10 people. Face masks should be worn if you must interact in close contact. All of the ordinary precautions should nevertheless be practiced: wash your hands often, avoid touching your face and eyes, stay home if you are sick, and avoid people who are symptomatic. If you have any health issues or cautionary underlying conditions, consider celebrating the weekend home with the people who live with you. The goal is to limit the spread of the virus. 

During Memorial Day Weekend, you may visit the beach if your local government permits; however, restrictions will be in place. If the local law does not express its own restrictions, beach spaces should be designated for each person and spread at least 6 feet apart. Social distancing and face covering laws extend to beaches, golf courses, campgrounds, etc.  

  • Long Island beaches may be limited to 50% beach capacity and parking lots reduced to every other space. 
  • Most beaches in both Suffolk and Nassau Counties will be open to residents only. 
  • Nassau County beaches may be requiring 10 feet between people sitting on the beach and 6 feet between people walking along the beach. 
  • Bathroom access will likely be limited, and cleaning protocols increased. 
  • Visiting hours may also be limited. 

Which areas have announced Memorial Day Weekend openings and restrictions? 

  • New York State Parks are open and do not require residency for visitation.
    • Social Distancing must be maintained.
    • Face masks must be worn.
    • Not all restrooms may be open.
  • Suffolk County: Smith Point County Park, Cedar Point County Park, Cupsogue Beach County Park, Indian Island County Park, Lake Ronkonkoma County Park, Meschutt Beach County Park, Montauk County Park and Shinnecock East County Park are open:
    • Accessible to residents only.
    • Visitors will be required to wear a face covering on boardwalks, stairways, restrooms, and other public areas, but not on the beach or in the water.
    • Beachgoers will also have to maintain social distancing of 6 feet from people who are not part of their households.
    • Playgrounds, basketball and handball courts will remain closed for the season.
  • Town of Brookhaven: Cedar beach, Corey beach, West Meadow Beach:
    • Open from 10am-6pm. 
    • Open for residents only (Resident Parking Sticker required). 
    • Masks must be worn all times outside of the water.
    • Parking lots will be locked at 6:30pm.
    • For Memorial Day Weekend, restrooms will be open and sanitized every hour. (Restrooms will not be open after Memorial Day.)
    • Lifeguards are on duty but access to the water is limited. (Lifeguards will not be on duty after Memorial Day.) 
  • Town of Islip: West Islip Beach, Benhamin’s Beach at Bay Shore Marina, Islip Beach, East Islip Marina Park Beach, Sayville Marina Park Beach, Bayport Beach, Lake Ronkonkoma Park Beach:
    • Open May 23-May 26 from 10am-6pm.
    • Residents only.
    • Beaches open from sunrise to dusk.
    • Restrooms will be closed.
    • Concession stands will be closed.
    • Swimming is not permitted.
    • Lifeguards are not on duty.
    • Limited to 50% capacity.
    • Face masks must be worn at all times except when sitting.
  • Town of Islip: Atlantique Beach:
    • Open May 23-May 25. 
    • Lifeguards on duty from 11am-5pm.
    • Limited restrooms open from 11am-5pm and will be cleaned regularly.
    • Face masks must be worn at all times except while sitting.
  • Town of Islip tennis courts have reopened.
  • Town of Huntington: Centerport Beach, Crab Meadow Beach, Hobart Beach Quentin Sammis West Neck Beach
    • Open to residents only.
    • No parking pass is required but must have driver’s license showing proof of residency. 
    • Limited to 50% capacity.
    • Face masks required for entry.
    • Masks must be worn while waiting for admission. 
    • Face masks must be worn in any public areas, including boardwalks, restrooms, concession areas, walkways and any other public area other than on their blanket, beach chair or in the water.
    • Lifeguards will be monitoring social distancing with the departments of Public Safety and Maritime Services providing support in enforcement. 
    • Restrooms will be cleaned every two hours. 
  • Town of Babylon: Overlook Beach, Cedar Beach, Gilgo Beach:
    • Open May 23-May 25 from 8am-6pm.
    • Residents of the Town of Babylon only.
    • Limited to 50% beach capacity.
    • Social distancing of 6 feet required.
    • Face covering required when walking on the beach or interacting with beach staff. 
    • Lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm.
    • Residents only permitted to wade in the ocean to waist deep.
    • Restrooms will be open from 8am-8pm.
    • Cedar Beach Marina restrooms will not be open.
    • Salt Shack for Overlook Beach and Cedar Beach will be open for take away only.
    • Gilgo Beach Inn will be open for take away only.
  • Town of East Hampton: Indian Wells, Atlantic Avenue, South Edison, Ditch Plains beaches:
    • Open starting Saturday from 9am-5pm.
    • Masks or face-coverings will be required and must be worn in parking and bathroom areas, beach entrances and exits, while walking around the beach, and whenever 6-foot distance from others cannot be maintained. 
    • No groups will be allowed, except for family or household groups. 
    • Blankets and chairs on the beach should be at least 10 feet apart. 
    • Social distancing of at least six feet between individuals must be practiced on the beach. 
    • Beach sports will not be allowed.
    • Restroom access from 9am-5pm and will be disinfected regularly. 
  • Nassau County: Nickerson Beach– 
    • Open for residents only. 
    • Lifeguards on duty until June 13, 2020. 
    • All summer concerts suspended until July 13, 2020.
    • Parking lot restricted to every other space. 
    • Limited access to 50% capacity. 
    • Face mask must be worn when not in the water.
    • Social distancing of 6 feet must be maintained at all times. 
  • Nassau CountyTennis courts open
    • Single plays only.
    • Only every other court may be utilized.
  • Town of Oyster Bay: TOBAY Beach, Philip B. Healey Beach at Florence Avenue in Massapequa, Tappen Beach in Glenwood Landing, Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park and Beach in Oyster Bay, and John J. Burns Town Park:
    • Parking stickers on sale beginning May 16, 2020.
    • Face masks required when social distancing cannot be maintained.
    • Restricted access to residents only.
    • Enhanced safety measures enacted with signage and pedestrian barriers.
  • Town of Hempstead
    • Open May 23, 2020.
    • Open to Nassau County Residents only. 
    • Beach capacity limited to 50%.
    • Face masks must be worn unless in the water or while sitting on the beach.
    • Lifeguards may restrict swimming 20-30 feet from shoreline. 
    • Social distancing of 6 feet, except beach towels/chairs should be 10 feet part.
    • Concession and picnic areas closed.
    • Restrooms limited to 2 people at a time.
    • Restrooms scheduled to be cleaned every 30 minutes. 
    • Group activities are prohibited. 

Nassau County will host a car parade on Monday, May 25, 2020, to pay tribute to fallen military personnel. You may view the parade on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ncexecutive

However you choose to celebrate, Law Offices of Jennifer G. Tocci, P.C., wishes you and your family a happy, healthy, and safe Memorial Day. 

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